Chicago

May 23rd, 2016

We spent last week in Chicago and I only had my phone so didn’t even try to post. I decided that it would be a good time to put my laptop in for a tuneup while we were gone, and it does seem to be running faster.

One day we went to the Art Institute of Chicago. There were no quilts, but I found an appliqued Samuri vest

AppliqueSamuriVest

and a weaving which could inspire a half-square triangle quilt.

weavingWeaving2

It was fun to see the original paintings of some of the works we studied in Art History, such as Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jette”. It’s huge! 7×10′;

Seurat

one of Vincent van Gogh’s “Self Portrait”s (wonderful brushwork),

vanGoghvanGoghBrushwork

Paul Gauguin’s Mahana Aucun Atua Finland”.

Gauguin

I’ll show you more later!

Focus Friday – Blooming Trellis

May 13th, 2016

Today for Focus Friday, I am featuring “Blooming Trellis”, just because it’s spring and everything is blooming like crazy!

This pattern makes a bed quilt, approximately 72 X 84″. It is made up of a combination of two different 12″ blocks that come together to form the lovely trellis design. Simple piecing makes a striking quilt for your bed!

450BloomingTR

Blooming Trellis -INNOVATIONS# 05946             $9.00
Click on PATTERNS in the side bar to order.

The Sample quilt is for sale. Machine pieced and machine quilted, it is $2000.00. Email for details.

Busy Week

May 8th, 2016

It’s been a busy week. Classes finished except for one last critique session next Tuesday.  I hope I continue to paint and do my Yoga through the summer.

I found a little time to machine quilt on the Kansas landscape and it it coming along nicely. The bird feeders are just outside the studio window by my sewing machine, so I have been enjoying the many different birds that come. A couple of very special ones this week was a Rose Breasted Grosbeak and an Orchard Oriole.

roseBrGrosbeak

He has been here before. He stops in for a break on his way to wherever his nesting ground must be.  I wish he would stay here with us, he is gorgeous!

I didn’t know what I was seeing with the Orchard Oriole. I knew it was an oriole because it was on the Hummingbird feeder and was marked like an Oriole, but it was smaller and very dark. Black and a deep, almost black russet.  I friend identified it for me and I looked it up in the bird books. I was afraid, like the Grosbeak, that it was just passing through, but the next day it was still here and I also saw the female, a pretty green bird, so, fingers crossed, I hope they will stay and nest here!

The Seasonal Palette exhibit with my December Dawn

DecDawn450

is showing now in Taiwan and Betty Busby posted this photo that she took of it.

SPTaiwan

It’s fun to see how they have displayed it. Starting on the left with the wintertime quilts you progress through the seasons. Mine is way over on the far left. The exhibit has one more showing here in the states then December Dawn will go on to it’s new home!

Focus Friday- Baltimore Album – Baltimore Oriole

April 29th, 2016

A few days ago I had my first sighting this year of the male Baltimore Oriole at the Hummingbird feeder – such a gorgeous bird! Usually the Hummingbirds are back before the Orioles but so far this year I have not seen any. I wonder if bad weather south of us has interfered with their migration and even if they will make it this year.oriole

We usually have at least two pairs of Orioles nesting in our yard and it is fun to see them at our feeders. They are so beautiful that I wanted to design a quilted wallhanging about them. This little 24 x 24″ piece combines piecing in the style of the Baltimore Album block, and applique. I like to make my applique designs in simple shapes that are easy to sew by hand or machine, which is the case for this bird. But I have to admit that those leaves, which are actual shapes from my Porcelain Berry Vine are anything but simple! But they are beautiful and I recommend fusing and zigzagging the raw edges in this case, which makes it very do-able! Porcelain Vine berries are not orange, but I thought a little artistic license was in order to compliment the bird. I hope you will want to make one for yourself or for your bird loving friend! Click on PATTERNS in the side bar to order.

Baltoriole

Baltimore Album/Baltimore Oriole, INNOVATIONS #03838      24 x 24″       $9.00

The machine pieced, machine appliqued and machine quilted pattern sample is for sale, $300.00. Email for details.

Catching Up

April 25th, 2016

Last week, I finished the watercolor of the Giant Swallowtail on the Zinnias.  It’s hard to know when to stop.  Perhaps I should have stopped sooner, but at least I did finally stop!  My favorite watercolors are those that look fresh and spontaneous, and not overworked. This was beginning to go there!GiantSwallowtail

I started a new one, of my late Komondor, Griffin.  I used mask to define the edges of some of his cords and let the background wash flow down into that area to give depth and shadow. After lifting some of the color and softening the edges of the masked area, I am ready to attempt the definition of the cords. My instructor, Ye, said “Oh, another complicated one!” I think he does not quite know what to do with me!griffWatercolor1

I also finally made my offering for this year’s SAQA  12 x 12″ Benefit Auction.  The deadline is coming up so I decided this year to forego my usual pieced format and go with a whole cloth hand dyed piece.  When I first saw this piece of fabric, I saw within it, a woodland scene. It reminded me of looking ahead through the trees to what might be a clearing up ahead, so I free motion machine quilted the trees and the foreground foliage.  I think I might call it “Through The Trees”.  12x12-2016450

Focus Friday – Bluebird

April 22nd, 2016

It must really be spring when you see that first flash of blue that means the Bluebirds are back! There is nothing quite like it, they really are special!

My series of Picture Piecing patterns includes this one, simply called “Bluebird”.

Bluebirdpat

I have done the hard part for you, the plotting of the seam lines, so all you have to do is to follow the numerical order and color coding to sew the pieces together – all straight seams! It’s a super fun and satisfying way to have your own Bluebird of happiness right in your own home!

BluebirdDet

“Bluebird” INNOVATIONS #09355 24 x 24″  –   $9.00

The workshop sample has already sold, but this pattern cover sample, machine pieced and free motion machine quilted,  is for sale at $300.00.

Focus Friday – Traditional Tricks

April 8th, 2016

You CAN teach an old block new tricks! For today’s Focus Friday selection, I am showing you Traditional Tricks, which is a bed quilt, approximately 84 x 105″. It features original blocks and is made up of mostly squares, half square triangle units, nine patches and log cabin blocks – what could be easier? I wondered what would happen if I gave that space usually taken by sashing strips and placed them as accent strips instead, and the accent they provide is just perfect! for someone who wants a bed quilt that goes beyond traditional!

2002_tradtrks

Traditional Tricks – INNOVATIONS # 02231 $9.00
Click on PATTERNS in the side bar to order.

The machine pieced & machine quilted sample quilt is for sale, $2000.00, email for details.

Planting Trees and Painting People

April 8th, 2016

This morning I cannot get my email on AOL. I can get online so I will see if I can post here.

Yesterday’s watercolor class was ok, But I am not satisfied with my first effort at portrait painting. It is soaking in a tray of water so I can scrub it out and try again. No point in keeping a bunch of failures around!

We got the trees planted, a Pear and an Apricot. That makes a nice addition to the two Apple trees, a Peach, a Cherry and two Plum trees we already had. I’m not sure about the two Blueberries I planted last year. One looks dead but the other may have buds. The Blackberry and Raspberry plants look good – fingers crossed for no fruit flies this year. I got my first tick on tree planting day!

Watercolor”Flowers”

April 6th, 2016

Last week in my watercolor painting class we were supposed to do flowers.

I found a photo that I took several years ago of Zinnias with a Giant Swallowtail butterfly in one of my gardens and thought it might be a good choice. On Tuesday I made a nice start.

GSwallowtailinprog

On Thursday I continued, adding more layers of color. I had planned on finishing it over the weekend, but did not find the time to do so. Monday I spent most of the day in town, so it didn’t happen then either.

GSwtail2

I barely had time to prepare a drawing for Tuesday’s portrait painting class.  But we spent Tuesday’s class time looking at videos of excellent portrait painters working.  I really enjoyed that!  I’ve never tried to paint a portrait and I need all the help I can get!!  The plan for today is to try to paint something, but, among other things,  I also have to prepare and ship a quilt, plant two fruit trees and fertilize the roses!

“Layers Of The FlintHills” Top Finished!

April 3rd, 2016

The latest top is DONE!! I sewed the last seam yesterday morning, removed all of the freezer paper and gave it a good pressing. Now it is hanging on the design wall and if I don’t notice something that needs changing I hope to get it layered and ready to start the quilting next week. It’s been a long process, working an hour here and a day there between other obligations, sewing and un sewing, making changes and additions.  It went from this the last time I posted about it

KSlandscape2to this.  I tweaked the greens, added more flowers in the foreground and a distant hill,

Landscape progress

then to this.  Changed the distant hill to a darker shade from the hand dyed sky fabric. It felt like that side was too low, so I added a second distant hill from the different lighter hand dye that was rejected in the previous shot.  Added a pond to the right side as it seemed to need to have the blue repeated.

LayersTopI do believe it is now finished and I know the quilting will add another dimension. Can’t wait to get started!